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Transport Sector Public Enterprises return $5.5m dividend and tax for 2018/19

Nuku'alofa, Tonga

Press Release:

Shared Transport Sector Boards, Dividend Payment - Financial Year 2018/19

The Chairman of the Shared Transport Sector Board of Directors, Dr Sione Ngongo Kioa, on Monday, 10th February 2020 warmly welcomed Hon. Dr. Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa, Prime Minister and Minister for Public Enterprises to the National Reserve Bank of Tonga’s Conference Center in Nuku’alofa. The Hon. Dr. Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa chaired the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Shared Transport Sector Public Enterprises for Ports Authority Tonga (PAT), Tonga Airports Limited (TAL) and the Friendly Island Shipping Agency (FISA) for the Financial Year 2018/19. The meeting maintained the outstanding standard the Shared Transport Sector Public Enterprises set for AGM Meeting in Tonga.

The Chairman of the Shared Transport Sector Board of Directors, Dr Sione Ngongo Kioa gladly reported to the Prime Minister and Minister for Public Enterprises that PAT, TAL and FISA continued to maintain their combined Net Profit Before Tax above the $6 million mark and the Net Profit After Tax above the $2 million milestone they set in previous years. The report therefore highlighted the combined outcomes of the Shared Transport Sector Public Enterprises’ performance for the Financial Year 2018/19.

Paying to the Shareholder a combined Total Tax of $1.9 million during the Financial Year 2018/19 – the Transport Sector Public Enterprises returned to the Shareholder and the people of Tonga a Total Dividend and Tax of $5.5 million for their performance during the Financial Year 2018/19, an increase of 57% from the Financial Year 2017/18. Valuing the importance of continually facilitating outstanding services to the people of Tonga, the Prime Minister and Minister for Public Enterprises accepted the declared dividend payment of 75% of Net Profits After Taxes at a combined total of $3.9 million from the Chief Executive Officers, Chairman and Directors of the Shared Transport Sector Board of Directors for PAT’s, TAL’s and FISA’s performance for the Financial Year 2018/19.

The Prime Minister and Minister for Public Enterprises on behalf of the Shareholder acknowledged and thanked the Chairman and Directors of the Shared Transport Sector Board of Directors, Chief Executive Officers, Management and staff of PAT, TAL and FISA for their hard work, commitment and dedication to maintaining the Transport Sector Public Enterprises’ performance at exceptional standard. The Prime Minister and Minister for Public Enterprises further acknowledged that while the Shareholder is aware of the Transport Sector Public Enterprises’ needs to maintain the services they facilitate at exceptional level, the 75% dividend paid for the Financial Year 2018/19 will greatly assist in facilitating essential services provided by the Government for the people of Kingdom. However, there is opportunity and process for the Transport Sector Public Enterprises to seek the whole or part of the dividend paid to assist funding their capital projects.

Dr S.Ngongo Kioa

The Chairman of the Shared Transport Sector Board of Directors further reported that the Transport Sector Public Enterprises continued to demonstrate and delivered efficient and profitable services to their Shareholder and the people of the Kingdom, while carrying out their statutory responsibilities prescribed by national and international frameworks, and placing high priority on safe and secure transportation locally and internationally. Regardless of the challenges imposed by the removal of upper airspace funds from TAL and exemptions of tariff fees under TC Gita disaster recovery programs, the Transport Sector Public Enterprises continued to maintain positive cash flow at the end of the Financial Year 2018/19. This was supported by strong shared capabilities harnessed through valued collaboration between the Board of Directors, shareholding Minister, Government and the support of development partners, other key stakeholders, management and staff.

Despite the challenges the Transport Sector Public Enterprises faced during the Financial Year 2018/19, the Chairman of the Shared Transport Sector Board of Directors highlighted major achievements during the year. This includes completing major capital projects from:

Ports Authority Tonga

  1. Acquisition of the new Tug Boat Olovaha at $3,088,571 to assist the old Tug Boat Hifofua with the berthing and
    unberthing of vessels. The Tug Boat Olovaha was officially commissioned by His Majesty in May 2019.
  2. Tar sealing the Vuna Wharf Western Car Park at a total of $215,733.
  3. Tar sealing the Taufa’ahau Tupou IV Domestic Wharf (TTIVDW) car park to accommodate the parking space demand from port users and customers. The project was funded from the retained dividend for the Financial Year 2016/17 at a total cost of $335,320.58.
  4. Tar sealing the Queen Salote International Wharf drive way at a total of $258,6783.11 and the hard stand at a total of $153,600.50. This project was jointly funded from PAT’s cash flow and the retained dividend from the Financial Year 2017/18.
  5. Acquisition of port equipment and machineries that were used for the construction of the TTIVDW by the Japanese based TOA Contractors at $1.3 million. Jointly funded from PAT’s cash flow and retained dividend from the Financial Year 2017/18, the equipment will assist in the repair and maintenance of the wharf facilities thus improving PAT’s facilitation of port services services while ensuring safety at the Port of Nuku’alofa.
  6. Upgrading two Cargo Sheds for the domestic boats operators at the Faua Domestic Wharf at a total of $847,315.69. This project was jointly funded from the Financial Year 2016/17 retained dividend and PAT’s cash flow.

Tonga Airports Limited

  1. Upgrading of domestic airports: Mata’aho Airport, Lavinia Airport, Lupepau’u Airport and Fua’amotu International Airport. These projects were funded by TAL at a total cost of $371,000. The extension of the departure area at Lupepau’u Airport was funded by the World Bank at a total cost of USD$435,000.
  2. Extending the arrivals concourse including the baggage claim area at Fua’amotu International Airport thus allowing the airport to improve facilitation of international passengers at a total cost of $4.3 million.
  3. Installing TAL’s central intranet to facilitate and improve communication amongst and between TAL’s different operating locations throughout the Kingdom at a total cost of $70,000.
  4. Upgrading the aerodrome lightings and navigation aids at Fua’amotu International Airport in January 2019, by the Spanish company GECI Espanola S.A.
  5. Installing of ADS-B Out Avionics onto domestic carrier’s fleet thus allowing TAL’s Air Traffic Controllers to visually track aircrafts when taxing and airbone. All aircrafts operated by international airlines into Tonga are ADS- B equipped which greatly enhances situation awareness and  safety for air transportation.

Upgrading of domestic airports

Friendly Island Shipping Agency (FISA)

  1. Continuing to facilitate sea transport services to and from the remote islands of Tonga using the MV ‘Otuanga’ofa at a cost of $4,825,740, MV Niuvakai at $1,127,872 and MV Tongiaki $4,598,090.
  2. Dry docking of the MV ‘Otuanga’ofa in September 2018.

New Pathway - Tonga Maritime Polytechnical Institute (TMPI) 2019-2022

Specified under the Cabinet Decision (CD) of 11th January 2019, the transfer from the Ministry of Education and Training (MET) of the TMPI to FISA was effected together with the establishment of a Advisory Committee under the CD No. 335 of 15th March 2019. The Chairman of the TMPI Advisory Committee reported the status of the marine school TMPI and the progress and development of maritime training over the past year.

  1. TMPI sets out to prepare well trained seafarers and the development of tourism in Tonga. The Maritime School is therefore important for the development of the Kingdom considering that TMPI provides opportunity for students to gain employment. Because of the problems with the school, local boats turned and recruited foreign workers including some from the Philippines.
  2. Completed developing and approved a Quality Manual which was audited by the Marine and Ports Division of the Ministry of Infrastructure. The TMPI IMO related auditing failed twice hence the transfer of the school to FISA.
  3. Under the guidance of the Advisory Committee and management of FISA, including financial obligations, TMPI qualifications are now compliant with IMO requirements thereby recognized as a TNQAB certification. Reestablishing TMPI’s credibility led the maritime school to build strong link with international seafarers’ employment agencies and shipping companies employing Tongan seafarers.
  4. Currently enrolled 68 students including 4 female students with 13 students being enrolled at the boarding school with some students under 2 hours’ watchmen program. The enrollments are in Master/Engineer Class 6, Class 5 and Class 4, Firefighting and Survival techniques, Catering and hospitality for ship. The students will operate and run the restaurant at the school.

  1. TMPI cannot rely on Government funding to finance costly equipment and qualified trainers. The school therefore had to look into contracts with foreign vessels to employ students and financial assistances to meet millions of dollar equipment.
  2. At the end of 2020, TMPI expects that trained seafarers Class 1 will be employed at foreign vessels.
  3. Overall, the mandate given  to TMPI has been accomplished and the strategy now is to continue improving on the progress made on TMPI’s operation and certification.

Board

The Prime Minister & Minister for Public Enterprises at the conclusion of the Annual General Meeting congratulated and thanked the Chairman of the Shared Transport Sector Board of Directors, Directors, Management and staff of PAT, TAL and FISA for concluding the Financial Year 2018/19 at an exceptional level.

Shared Transport Sector Board of Directors, Directors, Management and staff of PAT, TAL and FISA. 2020.

Represented at the Annual General Meeting

Board of Directors:

Chairman Dr Sione Ngongo Kioa,
Director Dr Sitiveni Halapua,
Director Sateki Áhio,
Director & Acting CEO FISA Seventeen Toumo’ua,
Mr Sione ‘Akau’ola (Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of Public Enterprises).

Management from PAT:

Mr ‘Alo Ki-Hakau Maileseni (Acting Chief Executive Officer),
Mrs Mele Havea Lavemaau (Manager Corporate Services),
Mr Tevita Iketau Havili Kaufusi,
Capt Hakaumotu Fakapelea (Port Master),
Mr Halloween Kisina (Manager Operations),
Mr ‘Etikeni Samani (Manager Risk & Compliance).

Management from TAL:

Mr Viliami Ma’ake (Chief Executive Officer),
Mr Pita Ha’angana (Chief Financial Officer),
Mr Tino Fuka (Deputy CEO Operations),
Mr Sione F. Takapautolo (Chief Technical Supervisor & Maintenance),
Ms Aisiena Taumoepeau (Deputy CEO Corporate).

Management from FISA:

Mrs Lineti Fifita (HR & Marketing Manager),
Ms Seini Fifita (Chief Financial Officer),
Cpt. Viliami Mafi (Principal TMPI),
Mr Vivili Fifita (Acting Superintendent).
 
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